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Jun 21, 2021

Indiana Jones in space: Inside the fascinating world of galactic archaeology

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Astrophysicists now have the data and models to uncover subtle imprints from our galaxy’s past.

Jun 21, 2021

Microsoft Would Like You to Stop Downloading Leaked Windows 11

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, futurism

At some point in the next few months, Microsoft will start encouraging people to upgrade to Windows 11. If we’re lucky, the company will have learned from its “Get Windows 10” debacle and will not launch a glorified malware application. Regardless of how the company approaches the topic, however, you can bet we’re all going to get blitzed with advertising one way or another.

But that lovely event/hostage-taking is still in the future. For now, Microsoft would appreciate it if everyone stopped downloading the leaked version of Windows 11 that popped up last week. In the process, the OS developer has confirmed what everybody already knew — Windows 11 is, in fact, an official thing that’s happening.

Jun 21, 2021

Could a Nasal Spray of Designer Antibodies Help to Beat COVID-19?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health

There are now several monoclonal antibodies, identical copies of a therapeutic antibody produced in large numbers, that are authorized for the treatment of COVID-19. But in the ongoing effort to beat this terrible pandemic, there’s plenty of room for continued improvements in treating infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to share progress in the development of a specially engineered therapeutic antibody that could be delivered through a nasal spray. Preclinical studies also suggest it may work even better than existing antibody treatments to fight COVID-19, especially now that new SARS-CoV-2 “variants of concern” have become increasingly prevalent.

These findings come from Zhiqiang An, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Pei-Yong Shi, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and their colleagues. The NIH-supported team recognized that the monoclonal antibodies currently in use all require time-consuming, intravenous infusion at high doses, which has limited their use. Furthermore, because they are delivered through the bloodstream, they aren’t able to reach directly the primary sites of viral infection in the nasal passages and lungs. With the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, there’s also growing evidence that some of those therapeutic antibodies are becoming less effective in targeting the virus.-Dr Francis Collins.

Continue reading “Could a Nasal Spray of Designer Antibodies Help to Beat COVID-19?” »

Jun 21, 2021

EU data watchdogs want ban on AI facial recognition

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI

The EU’s data protection agencies on Monday called for an outright ban on using artificial intelligence to identify people in public places, pointing to the “extremely high” risks to privacy.

In a non-binding opinion, the two bodies called for a “general ban” on the practice that would include “recognition of faces, gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, keystrokes and other biometric or behavioural signals, in any context”.

Such practices “interfere with and freedoms to such an extent that they may call into question the essence of these rights and freedoms,” the heads of the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor said.

Jun 21, 2021

PhD student obtains the Higgs mode via dimensional crossover in quantum magnets

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

In 2013, François Englert and Peter Higgs won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, which was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle by the A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS) and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The Higgs mode or the Anderson-Higgs mechanism (named after another Nobel Laureate Philip W Anderson), has widespread influence in our current understanding of the physical law for mass ranging from particle physics—the elusive “God particle” Higgs boson discovered in 2012 to the more familiar and important phenomena of superconductors and magnets in condensed matter physics and quantum material research.

The Higgs mode, together with the Goldstone mode, is caused by the spontaneous breaking of continuous symmetries in the various quantum material systems. However, different from the Goldstone mode, which has been widely observed via neutron scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies in quantum magnets or superconductors, the observation of the Higgs mode in the material is much more challenging due to its usual overdamping, which is also the property in its particle physics cousin—the elusive Higgs boson. In order to weaken these damping, two paths have been suggested from the theoretical side, through quantum critical points and dimensional crossover from high dimensions to lower ones. For , people have achieved several remarkable results, whereas there are few successes in.

To fulfill this knowledge gap, from 2020, Mr Chengkang Zhou, then a first-year Ph.D. student, Dr. Zheng Yan and Dr. Zi Yang Meng from the Research Division for Physics and Astronomy of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), designed a dimensional crossover setting via coupled spin chains. They applied the quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) simulation to investigate the excitation spectra of the problem. Teaming up with Dr. Hanqing Wu from the Sun Yat-Sen University, Professor Kai Sun from the University of Michigan, and Professor Oleg A Starykh from the University of Utah, they observed three different kinds of collective excitation in the quasi-1D limit, including the Goldstone mode, the Higgs mode and the scalar mode. By combining numerical and analytic analyses, they successfully explained these excitations, and in particular, revealed the clear presence of the Higgs mode in the quasi-1D quantum magnetic systems.

Jun 21, 2021

Binance Smart Chain DeFi Project Impossible Finance Hacked

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, finance

Another DeFi project on the Binance Smart Chain has been exploited. This time, attackers nabbed $500000 from Impossible Finance.

Jun 21, 2021

How vaccines stack up against CDC’s 5 variants of concern

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In case you need the information.

The CDC designated the delta variant of the coronavirus — first identified in India — as a “variant of concern” June 15, reigniting attention on the race between vaccines and coronavirus variants.

The new classification comes amid mounting evidence that the variant spreads more easily than existing strains and causes more severe infections, the CDC said in a June 15 statement to Becker’s. People infected by the delta variant may have twice the risk of hospitalization of people infected with the alpha variant first identified in the U.K., according to research released this week from Scotland. In May, the U.K.’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies also said the delta variant could be up to 50 percent more transmissible than alpha, which is currently the dominant strain in the U.S., though research is still preliminary.

Continue reading “How vaccines stack up against CDC’s 5 variants of concern” »

Jun 21, 2021

Inventor creates new material that can keep buildings cool without air conditioning

Posted by in category: materials

I like this one, especially because using recycled materials has no loss in efficacy.

Beating the heat with paper.

Continue reading “Inventor creates new material that can keep buildings cool without air conditioning” »

Jun 21, 2021

At last, a way to build artificial intelligence with business results in mind: ModelOps

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

Is there a way for IT leaders to be proactive about AI and machine learning without ruffling and rattling an organization of people who want the miracles of AI and ML delivered tomorrow morning? The answer is yes.

Jun 21, 2021

Physicists induce motionless quantum state in largest object yet

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

“Stationary” has very different meanings at quantum and real-world scales – an object that looks perfectly still to us is actually made up of atoms that are buzzing and bouncing around. Now, scientists have managed to slow down the atoms almost to a complete stop in the largest macro-scale object yet.

The temperature of a given object is directly tied to the motion of its atoms – basically, the hotter something is, the more its atoms jiggle around. By extension, there’s a point where the object is so cold that its atoms come to a complete standstill, a temperature known as absolute zero (−273.15 °C,-459.67 °F).

Scientists have been able to chill atoms and groups of atoms to a fraction above absolute zero for decades now, inducing what’s called the motional ground state. This is a great starting point to then create exotic states of matter, such as supersolids, or fluids that seem to have negative mass.

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